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Police bust scam gang – 2 victims lose over HK$10 million

2017-11-14 08:00     Comment:0

The Judiciary Police (PJ) have arrested a gang of four men and four women suspected of running two separate scams in which they cheated two victims out of more than HK$10 million.

In one of the scams, the gang told the victim that they could help her to get money back that had been seized by the court. The money in question was related to another scam case that occurred last year. The victim in this case was also the victim of the last year’s scam case.

PJ spokesman Choi Ian Fai announced the case during a special press conference yesterday.

In this case, members of the gang, claiming to know important members at the local courts, persuaded the victim to pay a “handling fee” so that they could help her to get back the money that was seized by the court last year.

As long as the legal procedures of a court case have not been completed – such as in a scam case, the items or money that the victim or victims lost are seized and kept by the court.

For this case, Choi identified the kingpin of the recent case as a 32-year-old local woman surnamed Lei. According to Choi, Lei is the wife of the kingpin in last year’s scam case.

Last year’s scam case involved supermarket coupons. Choi did not elaborate on details of last year’s scam case during yesterday’s press conference. Choi used “the supermarket coupon scam case” when referring to last year’s con.

According to Choi, the police arrested Lei’s husband for his alleged involvement in the supermarket coupon scam case last year as its kingpin. Lei’s husband is currently in prison, according to Choi.

According to Choi, the first victim lost two million patacas in the supermarket coupon scam. Choi also said that the first victim – a woman – reported the case to the police in late August. The victim told the police that after the supermarket coupon scam case, she told netizens on social networking sites that she was unhappy that she had been cheated out of money.

According to Choi, a woman – Lei – chatted with the first victim and claimed that she was also a victim of the supermarket coupon scam.

During the chats, Lei told the first victim that she knew “important” court officials and that she could help the victim get back money that was still being held by the court, according to Choi.

Lei told the first victim that she needed to pay a “handling fee” so that the “important” court officials would return the money involved in the supermarket coupon scam to the victim, Choi said.

The victim believed Lei and she deposited a total of 636,615 patacas in several transactions into a number of bank accounts during August, as per Lei’s instruction, Choi said, adding that the victim reported what had happened to the police after discovering that she had been cheated.

According to Choi, the second victim – also a woman – reported that she had been scammed to the police last Wednesday. The victim told the police that she lent HK$550,000 to a man – Lei’s husband. In October last year, Lei’s husband told the second victim that the money in his bank accounts had been frozen so that he could not repay the loan. Lei’s husband told the second victim that she could “pay” some court officials to unfreeze his bank accounts. The victim believed what he was telling her.

According to Choi, later the members of the eight-member gang separately sent mobile phone messages to the second victim, pretending to be court officials. According to Choi, they told the second victim the same thing that Lei’s husband had told her.

As per instructions from the gang members, the second victim deposited a total of HK$10 million into 12 bank accounts over numerous transactions, Choi said, adding that the victim reported the case to the police after discovering she had been cheated.

After receiving the reports from the two victims and investigating, PJ officers took action and arrested the eight suspects in a number of flats on Saturday. In these flats, the police seized a total of HK$240,000 in cash, Choi said.

The police believe that the gang has transferred most of the money that it had received from the two victims to bank accounts on the mainland, Choi said.

Choi said that the eight victims would be transferred to the Public Prosecution Office (MP) for further questioning.



Judiciary Police (PJ) officers escort the eight scam suspects to a PJ vehicle outside the PJ headquarters in Zape yesterday. Photo: Iong Tat Choi

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